Synopses & Reviews
Eighteen-year-old Darcy lives on the island of America Pacifica--one of the last places on earth that is still habitable, after North America has succumbed to a second ice age. Education, food, and basic means of survival are the province of a chosen few, while the majority of the island residents must struggle to stay alive. The rich live in "Manhattanville" mansions made from the last pieces of wood and stone, while the poor cower in the shantytown slums of "Hell City" and "Little Los Angeles," places built out of heaped up trash that is slowly crumbling into the sea. The island is ruled by a mysterious dictator named Tyson, whose regime is plagued by charges of corruption and conspiracy.
But to Darcy, America Pacifica is simply home--the only one she's ever known. In spite of their poverty she lives contentedly with her mother, who works as a pearl diver. It's only when her mother doesn't come home one night that Darcy begins to learn about her past as a former "Mainlander," and her mother's role in the flight from frozen California to America Pacifica. Darcy embarks on a quest to find her mother, navigating the dark underbelly of the island, learning along the way the disturbing truth of Pacifica's early history, the far-reaching influence of its egomaniacal leader, and the possible plot to murder some of the island's first inhabitants--including her mother.
"In her dark, page-turning debut, North tells the story of Darcy, an 18-year-old girl in a dystopian future whose mother goes missing. For as long as she can remember, Darcy has lived on America Pacifica, an isolated island nation, home to refugees from a mainland ravaged by drastic climate change. Their government is run by a Big Brother like autocrat named Tyson whose strict social hierarchy allows the richest residents to live in luxury while most citizens live in hovels and can barely afford food. Despite these circumstances, Darcy and her mother, Sarah, are otherwise happy until one day when Sarah doesn't return from work. With no resources or leads, Darcy vows to find her mother, a mission aided by a tip from one of America Pacifica's first arrivals and the help of a dissident named Ansel. As Darcy follows a trail of clues and lands in some tense situations, North cleverly combines elements from other popular modern stories a brave young heroine on an against-all-the-odds quest on a strange island with shocking secrets. Although the narrative and prose don't always excite with originality, the story and the wealth of detail in a vividly imagined world is memorable. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright PWxyz LLC)
"Anna North has crafted a dangerous, wise, and deeply affecting vision of the future that is also a dark mirror held to our present. At once thrilling and heartbreaking, America Pacifica suggests how we shape ourselves by shaping the world."--Jedediah Berry, author of The Manual of Detection
"Anna North's fluid prose moves this story along with considerable force and velocity. The language in America Pacifica seeps into you, word by word, drop by drop, until you are saturated in the details of this vivid and frightening world."--Charles Yu, author of How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe
About the Author
Anna North graduated from the Iowa Writers Workshop in 2009, having received a Teaching-Writing Fellowship and a Michener/Copernicus Society Fellowship. North grew up in Los Angeles, and lives in Brooklyn.